Timo Luege recently shared the new social media staff guidelines created at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Creating staff guidelines specific to online or social media use in organizations has been a hot topic for the last year or so and many organizations rely on examples of what other organizations or companies have created as a starting place for making their own. The “nptech” (or nonprofit technology) community is one of the best networks when it comes to sharing ideas and case studies, so here’s another example to add to the lot!
Why create social media staff guidelines?
For starters, creating explicit guidelines for social media use will ensure that everyone in the organization is aware of what is and isn’t “okay” and feel more secure in their activities knowing what they are responsible for, etc. It also creates an opportunity for people to be encouraged to use social media if they aren’t already! Here’s how Timo explains this:
For the first time the IFRC is encouraging staff who are not professional communicators to actively and publicly talk about the organization and their work. The guidelines create clarity and reduce the risk of arbitrary repercussions – it’s definitely harder to shut someone up now than it was before. On the other hand the guidelines also make clear what is unacceptable from an organizational point of view and that you might have to answer for what you write online.
Highlights from IFRC Social Media Staff Guides
What I like best about the IFRC Guidelines is that they start with best practices! Things to remember about using social media, especially on behalf of an organization, to make the experience positive for the users (in and out of the org) as well as for the organizaiton’s image. Some of the best practices I like best include:
- Be passionate
- Use a disclaimer
- Add value
- Be the first to admit a mistake
- Protect your own privacy
- Spread the word and connect with your colleagues
Lastly, the IFRC Guides also include an appendix of all the organization’s profiles and online spaces! A great way to be sure everyone can find, promote, and access the organization in various places online.
If you’re looking for an example of social media guidelines for your organization, the IFRC Social Media Staff Guides are a great resource and example. You can download them here (PDF at bottom of page).
What do you think?